“The Cask of The Amontillado” is not the short story you want to read to your child at bedtime. It is a creepy tale of a man who plots revenge on an acquaintance who has supposedly wronged him, a plot similar to other Edgar Allan Poe stories. This story is full of interesting characteristics such as hidden meanings, cunning dialogue between characters, and strange ironies, all assembled in a dark gothic setting. These details create an intriguing read, which is why this story needs to be analyzed to discover deeper meanings created in the mind of Poe and revealed in the lines of the story.
The majority of the story takes place in an underground catacomb, somewhere beneath an Italian city, during the carnival season. It is about the interaction of two characters, Montresor, the narrator, and Fortunato, a fellow nobleman. Fortunato is a rich Italian man who considers himself to be a connoisseur of fine wines, and who, in the narrator’s mind, has wronged Montresor in many unspecified ways. Because of Montresor’s bitterness, he takes advantage of Fortunato’s ego for identifying wines and his drunkenness to lure him away from the carnival party. He entices Fortunato with a chance to identify an expensive wine called Amontillado, which Montresor has supposedly bought for an inexpensive price. He leads Fortunato through an underground maze of tunnels and tombs. There he gets Fortunato more drunk by offering tastes of wine. He leads him to the far reaches of the catacombs where he locks Fortunato in chains. In the final act, Montresor builds a wall of blocks and mortar, confining Fortunato within the tiny confined space, leaving him to die slowly.
On first reading Montresor 's deadly intent was a surprise, but on the second readin...
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...mpetition of a rival wine taster named Luchesi. It is unlikely that this fine wine is available in this quantity at this low a price during carnival season. The cask symbolizes that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Fortunato 's stubborn pride get him buried alive.
Poe’s short story “The Cask of The Amontillado” challenges the reader to think subjectively as opposed to just following the story’s sequence of events. Although it is enjoyable to simply following the plot line and be surprised by the ending, the story takes on more depth with multiple readings. We now see that it should have been possible during the first reading to know what would happen before it actually did happen, and that the final fate of Fortunato was clear all along. Poe, through his masterful use of these techniques and by his use of language, had given us clues all along.
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